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Power Rangers Ride The Rails
#07 - "New Kids on the Block" (Originally Written In: 2017)

[ Song du Jour | Close ]

A strange craft flew toward Xityrant's Fortress, and the cargo hatch opened, allowing it to come to a stop in its enclosed landing area. The foreign ship's door opened, and two alien beings emerged. The first, a purple warrior with a four-pointed beard that resembled a starfish, introduced himself to the scurrying Spectres. "Attention, beings! I, Polaris, am pleased to introduce you to your new leader! She's fierce! She's fabulous! She's a size 0! Not really, but I'm paid to say that!"

-"I heard that,"- a voice boomed from the spacecraft.

He turned around. "Sorry!" He turned back toward the Spectres, who had calmed down. "Heeeeeere's Nashira!" He lowered his voice. -"This is where you clap."-

The Spectres started clapping as Nashira, a female warrior dressed in black with purple accents, emerged and walked down the steps. Polaris stepped aside. "Thank you! Thank you! Yes, I am here, and I shall lead you to victory!"

A remote door opened, and Xityrant and Entoborg ran in. The Spectres immediately stopped clapping and stood at attention. "What is going on here?" Entoborg asked.

"Who are you?" Xityrant inquired.

"Did you miss the introduction? I'm Polaris, and this is Nashira. We're going to teach you how to defeat the Power Rangers!"

Xityrant laughed. "Really? You two?"

"What can you do that we haven't already tried?" Entoborg asked.

"Polaris," Nashira spoke, "show them what we have planned."

"Yes, ma'am." Polaris threw his circular weapon into the air, causing a portal to appear. A few seconds later, a purple-and-green-colored monster emerged, landing in front of them. His weapon returned to his hand. "Introduce yourself."

"My name is Jester, and I love to make people laugh!" The monster chuckled.

Xityrant looked at Nashira. "This is your plan? Jokes?"

"Not just jokes, darling. I'll let my monster show you by attacking the Rangers. Jester, you may go down to the surface."

"Yes, ma'am!" Jester saluted, teleporting down to the city.

"Send some of the Spectres down to accompany him," Xityrant ordered, glancing back at Entoborg.

"Yes, sir." He turned toward the grunt fighters. "You heard the man. Go assist Jester!" Several of the fighters teleported away.

Xityrant turned back toward Polaris and Nashira. "So... Is purple, like, a thing with you?"

They looked at each other, then Polaris looked back at Xityrant. "What do you mean?"

~*~

Riley and Chase were walking around the Market District of Venture Capital. Ever since they were inducted into TQG, they haven't had the time to really get out and explore the city. They came across a farm market, comprised of a roadside stand filled with bins of fruits and vegetables. Riley stopped, dead in his tracks, and addressed the gentleman behind the bins, presumably the owner of the stand. "Is this your stand?"

"Yes, sir! How can I help ya?" The gentleman, an older man in his late-50's with long white hair, done up in braids, asked with a twang in his voice. "Lookin' for some fresh fruit? Maybe some of the finest veggies this side of the river?"

"I'm just... I'm in awe, looking at all of this. It reminds me of the farm I grew up on back home." He looked over the selection. "You grew *all* of this by yourself?"

He shook his head. "Nope. The missus and our daughters do the bulk of the tendin' to the crops. My back's not what she used to be!"

Chase interjected. "I'm sorry, but... Daughters?" Riley elbowed him. "Ow!"

The man laughed. "That usually gets people's attention!"

"What does?" Kaylee asked, approaching the stand. She glared at Chase. "Hello... *Chase*."

He looked down and away. "Oh... Hello, darling." Riley started to laugh. Chase returned the elbowing, causing Riley to start choking on his laughter.

"This little lady's yours, son?" The man asked. He extended his hand to her. "I don't believe we've met. The name's Dwayne!"

"Nice to meet you," Kaylee said, shaking Dwayne's hand. "This man over here is Chase, as in 'I have to CHASE him around just to see him anymore!'"

Dwayne let go of Kaylee's hand and turned toward Chase. "You know, you should really make more of an effort to keep your relationship going. The missus and I haven't been together for over 30 years because we don't talk to each other. -- Wait, maybe that's something we should be doing. We might last fifty that way!" He laughed.

Chase snickered. "Things have come up." He pulled Kaylee aside. "I'm the new Blue Ranger with TQG. That's why I haven't been around."

"I thought you were the Black Ranger. Can you have two powers at once?"

"Being so far from Earth, our Energems can't recharge, so the powers ran out after our first encounter at the Airport. We were picked up by TQG and, well, here we are."

"I see... And, being a Ranger is such a time-consuming thing that you can't pick up a phone and call?"

"Without a phone number, yes."

"You have my cell number!"

"We're on ANOTHER PLANET. I don't think Verizon works this far away from the Earth."

Kaylee looked at her phone. "That explains why nobody's called me for the past month!"

"Look, I'll make it up to you. We'll go out to dinner tonight. My treat."

-"I'll have none of that!"- Dwayne piped up, making his way over to the couple. "We'll cook for you at the farm! You can bring your other friend over there, too! We'll make a feast out of it!"

"Down-home cooking sounds SO delicious!" Kaylee exclaimed. "What do you say, Chase?"

-"If I may,"- Riley interjected. "I don't want to barge in on their date, sir."

"I can get you together with one of my daughters," Dwayne offered.

"Well..." Riley thought it over. He glanced at Chase, who was subtly nodding. Riley shrugged. "Sure! Why not?"

"Hoo doggies!" Dwayne exclaimed. "Y'all can come over at four thirty, which gives us enough time to close up shop and get home. We'll spend the rest of the day plannin' the menu. The farm's located just outside of town on the South end. Bring your appetites!" He ran off to find his family and tell them the news.

Kaylee crossed her arms. "Why is Riley coming?"

"You heard the man," Chase replied. "Be thankful we're not bringing more people."

"But, I want a date with just the two of us!" She whined. Chase put a finger up to her lips to shush her. She looked at it, going cross-eyed for a second. "Hm?"

"Shh... I'll make it an extra-special evening," he spoke, looking deep into her eyes and getting closer, his tone getting softer as his face approached hers. "One that you'll never forget..." He kissed her softly. "Now, run along and get ready. We'll be over to pick you up at around four. Okay?"

"Um... Okay..." She turned and walked away, in a daze.

Riley walked up to Chase. "Barf!"

He looked at him. "What?"

"'Oh, my darling!'" Riley put on his best Pepe Le Pew accent. "'Come wees me to zee farm for dinner! Oh, I love you more than anything!' Blech!"

"I didn't sound like that..."

"Sure seemed like it to me. I thought you two were on the outs."

"I'd like to be, but Kaylee can be a little... Persuasive. I think the only way for us to officially be over would be if *she* was the one to end it, mate."

Riley nodded. "So, in other words, it's Chase the Loverboy whenever she's around?" Chase nodded. "That shouldn't be how a relationship works."

"I know that," he commented, stepping back and motioning to his body, "but look at me! I'm irresistible! What girl couldn't resist all of this?"

Riley rolled his eyes. "You're starting to sound like Phoenix." He glanced at his watch. "Speaking of, we'd better get back."

"Right." Chase and Riley started to walk back to TQGHQ.

As the two passed by a darkened alleyway, Jester popped out of a dumpster. "Oh-ho-ho! Time to have some FUN!" He slinked out of the dumpster and made his way to the street. He pointed at Chase and sent a gentle energy pulse in his direction. It took the shape of a ribbon and circled around his head as he walked, entering his head through his left ear, which he was completely oblivious to. "Whoopee! It worked! Now, let's turn up the comedy!" He snapped his fingers, activating the spell on Chase, and disappearing at the same time.

"Whoa," Chase said, stopping and leaning against a nearby storefront. He closed his eyes and shook his head.

Riley grabbed onto him and helped to support him. "Are you alright?"

"Well, I'm certainly not all left!" The sound of a comedic rimshot could be heard.

He looked around. "Where did that come from?" He focused on Chase. "Can you make it to the base?"

"Who's on first?" Chase asked, followed by the rimshot sound effect.

"I'm going to need backup for this." He held up his Rail Morpher and pressed the communication button. "This is Riley. Anyone there?"

-"Go for Kaori,"- she replied.

"Kaori! Thank goodness! Can you get one of the medical squad cars to the Market District of the city? Chase is acting really peculiar. I think we might be in trouble."

-"When *isn't* Chase weird?"-

"When I'm wired! Ha-HA!" Chase shouted, followed by the rimshot sound effect.

-"Oh, no! Not bad jokes!"-

Riley could detect Kaori's sarcasm. "You know, I can hear you."

-"The squad car is on its way. Try and stay out of trouble, you two."-

"Oh, Kaori? While I have you... I've got one question."

-"Yes?"-

He turned to Chase. "Oh, Chase... Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"I think so, Riley, but I can't memorize a whole opera in Yiddish," Chase replied, followed by the rimshot sound effect. Kaori groaned over the speaker of the Rail Morpher.

Riley snickered. "That one was actually pretty funny."

~*~

Back at TQGHQ, Chase was lying asleep on an examination table, while some of the interns scanned him with devices that resembled metal detecting wands. Brandon looked at a monitor, which showed his vital signs. "Everything appears to be normal, physically," he said, turning toward the other Rangers, "so it's not a physical issue."

"I know that," Riley spoke. "Something happened to Chase that's got him responding in nothing but corny one-liners with that comedy rimshot effect playing afterward. It's some sort of bizarre spell."

"Oh," Brandon replied. "Well, that's that. Interns, you may stop scanning Chase." They set their wands on a nearby table and exited the room.

The Rangers watched the interns leave, then turned their attention on Brandon. "Well?!" They all asked, in unison.

"Well, what?"

"What are you going to do to fix Chase?" Gabriela asked.

"We're supposed to meet up with Kaylee at a farm outside of town at 4:30," Riley added. "I can't take Chase in his current condition. He'll blow any chance he has with Kaylee, and she'll somehow assume that it's my fault. I don't want Chase's vengeful would-be-ex putting some sort of hit out on me."

"The answer is simple: Take one of the others and have them keep Chase from speaking. Simple as that."

"That's brilliant, but who will be the lucky victim?" Riley surveyed the other Rangers. "Gabriela?"

"Don't look at me. I've already got a boyfriend!"

"How is Otome doing, anyway?" Kaori asked.

"He's doing well, but we don't really talk that much," Gabriela replied. "I guess he's too busy with his whole 'vengeance for destroying my planet' thing..."

"LADIES!" Riley shouted, getting their attention. "Fine, Gabi's out. Phoenix?" He looked at the footballer. "How about it? Free food, and farmer's daughters..."

"No can do, man," he replied. "Kelly will be *super* mad if I'm around other girls, even if there's free food attached. Sorry."

"That leaves just one of you..." Everyone looked at Kaori. "What do you say?"

"Does that stupid ba-dum-tss sound play after *everything* Chase says?" Riley nodded. She sighed. "Maybe we can destroy the monster in enough time that I won't need to, but I guess I can come along if we don't."

"Great!" He turned around. "Brandon, can you do a full-scale scan of the city for any sign of alien activity? I'd love to find that monster and destroy him..."

"You got it!" Brandon ran out of the room.

"By the way," Phoenix spoke, standing next to the still-unconscious Chase, "how long will he be like this?"

"I don't know. How long do elephant tranquilizers work on humans?" Kaori asked, smirking. Riley looked at her with a fearful expression. Gabriela and Phoenix looked at each other in fear, then slowly turned their gazes to Kaori. She looked around at the others' expressions. "What?" She shrugged. "It's a joke!"

~*~

Jester materialized back on the ship, and walked down a hall, running right into Nashira. He did a little dance. "Heeeeeere's Jester!"

"Silence, fool," Nashira spoke. "Did you defeat the Power Rangers?"

"I zapped that Blue one and made him tell nothing but hilarious jokes! It's great! Hoo-hoo!"

"What about the others?"

"Er... Others? There was that Red one that he was with, but I was so happy with one, that I didn't think to get anyone else!"

"YOU FOOL!" She exclaimed. She moved closer to him and leaned in. "You are going to go back down there and lure the other Rangers out of hiding, and you are going to destroy them. If you cannot, then do not bother coming back. Understood?"

He gulped. "Yes, ma'am." He slowly faded away.

Xityrant walked up behind her, slowly clapping. "*That*... Was impressive..."

She turned around. "I'm not here to get thanks from the likes of you."

"Aw," he said, feigning concern, "does that mean you won't be sticking around?"

"We'll see how Jester fares against your little candy-colored misfits," Nashira said. "Perhaps *you* would like to lend a hand?"

"Go down and fight them myself? It's not appropriate right now. I'll dispatch a squadron of Spectres to accompany your monster." He turned around and snapped his fingers, summoning several of the dark-clothed grunt fighters. "Go down to the city and assist that Jester monster in defeating the Rangers." They saluted and teleported away. He turned back around. "Are you happy now?"

"Not yet, but it's a start."

~*~

-"ALERT! ALIENS DETECTED IN THE PARK!"- A voice boomed overhead as the alarms sounded throughout TQGHQ.

Brandon ran toward a view screen and pressed a series of buttons, followed by the Rangers, minus Chase, who was still out cold. "That's got to be the monster that whammied Chase," Kaori spoke.

"We'd better get over there before he causes too much trouble," Riley commanded. "Let's go!"

"Right!" They pressed the teleportation buttons on their Rail Morphers, and instantly disappeared.

~*~

"Hey, Jack?" Skinny Mack asked.

"Yeah?"

"Why was six afraid of seven?"

"Because, my friend... SEVEN EIGHT NINE!" Big Jack laughed as the comedy rimshot effect sounded.

Skinny Mack started to laugh, as well. "That's absolutely correct!"

"Excellent!" Jester clapped his hands. "Another comedy genius is born!" He motioned toward the Spectres. "Come, before those misfit Rangers show up."

-"Too late!"- Phoenix shouted, running ahead of the others. He jumped into the air and summoned his Flame Axe. "Fire of the Phoenix!" He slashed at Jester, and the fire caused an explosion to emit from his chest, knocking him to the ground. The Spectres backed up and surrounded him as Phoenix landed. He looked around at the Spectres. "Who's next?" They drew their swords and aimed them at the Green Ranger. "Whuh-oh. One at a time, please!" They raised their swords. "Guess not. See ya!" Phoenix turned and ran, followed by the Spectres.

"Take this, you creeps! Lightning Hammer!" Gabriela swung her hammer at the Spectres, striking two of them at once and sending them flying into a tree. "Yes! Two points!"

"Earth Claw, Slash!" Kaori jumped into the air and slashed into a Spectre as she landed, destroying him upon impact. She stood up and slashed at another one, causing him to spark and be knocked back. "How do you like my claw, you creep?"

"You guys keep fighting the Spectres! I'll get Jester!" Riley shouted. He summoned his Wind Saber and charged at the monster. "This is for inflicting my friend with your horrible jokes!"

"What?" Jester asked as Riley ran past him, slashing into him. "Ow! That hurt!"

"Good!" Riley turned around. "Here comes some more!"

Jester summoned a sword and blocked Riley's next attack. "Touché, Red Ranger!"

"Huh?" Jester knocked Riley's sword away and slashed into him, causing him to spark and be knocked back. "Where'd you get that?"

"I've got plenty of tricks up my sleeve, Red Ranger! Watch this!" He ran over to Riley and picked him up, holding onto him by putting his arm around his neck. "Transference!" Suddenly, the two started to glow - Jester in purple and Riley in red - and, after a few seconds, the glows started to shift toward the other one. When the process was finished, Red Ranger quickly reversed the grab that Jester had on him. "Hey, guys!" He called to the others, getting their attention. "I've got him!"

The Spectres stepped back on their assault and retreated. Phoenix turned toward Riley and Jester, followed by the girls. "Way to go, Riley!"

"You got him!"

"If you want to see him again, you'll have to catch me! Whoo-hoo! Ta-ta, punks!" Red Ranger and Jester teleported away.

"That... That's odd," Gabriela spoke.

-"Rangers!"- Brandon's voice echoed over their Rail Morphers. -"Riley's been captured by that monster! Since you were unable to defeat him, Chase is still telling corny jokes, as well. You must find Jester and defeat him before this spell becomes permanent!"-

"It can become permanent?" Phoenix asked.

"Oh, most definitely," Kaori replied. "As is the case with any temporary effect on someone's being, if you do not remedy the issue, it will become permanent."

"And, you couldn't tell us this sooner? We could've busted out the big guns on that monster!" Phoenix walked over to a nearby wall and punched it. "Ow!"

Gabriela ran over to him. "Calm down! We'll find them. In the meantime, isn't Chase supposed to be at that farmhouse for his date by 4:00?"

"Yeah," Phoenix answered. "So?"

"It's 3:45 now. We need to figure out which one of us is going to go with Chase to keep him in line. Since Riley's been captured, that leaves either you or Kaori. Since he mentioned that there are going to be girls there, you should probably go."

"I told you... If Kelly finds out that I'm seeing other girls, she'll dump me, for sure!"

"If you *don't* go, who knows what that Kaylee girl will do to Chase, and who knows what secrets he might divulge about... You know... THE RANGERS?"

Phoenix sighed. "Fine, I'll go, but you two need to find Riley and defeat that monster as soon as possible. I might be suave, but I don't know if I'm suave enough to stop Chase from putting his foot in his mouth."

"I don't think putting his foot in his mouth is the problem," Kaori piped up. "Listen to this." She held up her Rail Morpher.

-"Hey, Brandon! What do you call a shoe made out of a banana?"-

-"I don't know. What?"-

-"A slipper!"- The comedy riff sound effect sounded, followed by an audible groan from Brandon.

Gabriela snickered. "Slipper! That's clever!"

Phoenix rolled his eyes. "You all owe me... BIG TIME."

~*~

The Red Ranger and Jester appeared in the prison ward of the ship, where Jester was immediately thrown into a cell. The Red Ranger closed the door behind him, sealing Jester in confinement. He ran up to the bars and tried to grab the Ranger through them. "You'll never get away with this! My friends will find me!"

"Oh, dear boy, they'll find you all right," the Ranger replied, demorphing into Riley and turning around to face Jester, "but they might not like the you that they find!" His retinas flashed in a purple hue. "I'll use you to destroy the team from the inside out! It'll be FABULOUS!"

"What?!" Jester tried to grab Riley through the bars, but couldn't reach him. He tried to summon Jester's weapons, but was unable to. "Why aren't any of YOUR powers working?"

Riley laughed. "Silly boy. You're missing the one thing that connects me to all of my powers: A mental connection!"

Jester backed up and walked toward the back of the cell. After about 30 seconds, he approached the front of the cell again. "Hey, um, Riley? I've got a challenge for you."

"Oh? You think you can outsmart me? Look at how easy it was for me to body-snatch you on the battle field! I'm not interested in your challenge. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find Nashira." Riley turned and headed for the door to the prison ward.

"LOSER!" Jester sneezed, trying to taunt his captor.

"It won't work!" He shouted as he walked through the door, which closed behind him.

Jester kicked the door to the cell. "Darn it! " He started walking around the cell. "Now, how am I going to get out of here? -- Wait a minute, I was *just* in here. How'd I get out the last time? ... Oh, yeah, we used Chase's and Phoenix's animal magnetism to fool Clerica. I think she's gone, so that won't work... Plus, you know, I'm here alone and I'm stuck in this stupid body!" He paused. "Riley, you idiot. What did Jester tell you? You need to think like him to access his powers. You're smart. Just... Think like a monster." He sighed. "No, that means telling stupid jokes. I can't... Or, can I?"

~*~

Riley approached Nashira, bowing before her. "My queen, I have returned!"

She stepped back in fear. "Who are you?"

"Look into my eyes..." She leaned in close, as Riley's retinas flashed purple. "Now, do you know me?"

"Jester?" She stood back up and rubbed her eyes. "But, how?"

"That Red Ranger was easy enough to get close to and body-snatch. Now, here I am!" He stepped back and did a model spin. "What do you think?"

"I think you're hot..."

Riley looked at her, confused. "Huh?"

"Um... Hot... On the trail of destroying the Rangers!" She shook her head. "Yes, that's what I meant! Now, you need to get down there and destroy the others! You've got the powers of the Red Ranger, so it should be an easy task."

"Yes, ma'am!" He saluted and teleported away.

Nashira fanned herself off. "Oh, my..."

~*~

Phoenix pulled into Kaylee's driveway and honked his car's horn. She ran out of her house and got into the back seat, where Chase was sitting with a bandanna tied across his mouth. "Greetings! You must be the elusive Kaylee that I've been hearing so much about," he said, extending his hand to her in greeting. "The name's Phoenix, but you probably already knew that."

"I didn't," she replied, confused about what was going on. She reached over and shook his hand. She motioned toward Chase. "What's with this?"

"Oh, gosh! Chase came down with a rare throat infection earlier, and he didn't want you to get it. You know what a considerate guy Chase is, and NOT SOMEONE THAT EVER TELLS CORNY JOKES," Phoenix answered.

"Oh, really?" She lowered the bandanna. "Throat infection, huh?"

"Thank you! Hey, question: What did the first plate say to the second plate?"

She looked at him, confused. "I don't know...?"

"Dinner's on me!" The comedy riff sound effect followed the punchline.

Kaylee looked around. "What was that?"

"I didn't hear anything," Phoenix replied, trying to keep his focus on the road and not the inevitable disaster that was about to unfold in the back seat.

"I must be losing my mind." She turned back to face Chase. "I've been thinking about what you said all day, and, well..." She undid a button on his shirt, and then another one, opening it slightly and running her hand across his chest. "I really do want to make this a memorable evening... A very, *very* memorable evening, if you know what I mean..." She smirked, looking into his eyes. Phoenix's wide-eyed expression could be seen in the rear-view mirror.

"What do you call bees that produce milk?" Chase asked.

Kaylee sighed. "For the love of... Come here." She undid her seat belt and moved right next to Chase, grabbing onto his shirt and pulling herself in for a deep kiss. Chase's shocked expression soon turned toward one of pleasure as a ribbon of energy flew out of his ear and disappeared into thin air. After about thirty seconds, she broke the kiss and sat back on her side of the back seat, where she proceeded to adjust her hair.

Chase blinked a few times and shook his head. "What happened?" He looked around. "Where are we?"

"Hey! The comedy riff is gone, and you're not just talking in corny jokes!" Phoenix exclaimed. "The spell is broken! Whoo!"

"Spell?" Chase and Kaylee asked, in unison. They turned to face each other. "Jinx! You owe me a Coke!"

"Thank you, Kaylee," Chase continued. "I don't know how you did it, but you stopped whatever that was that was controlling me."

"I have that effect on a lot of guys," Kaylee boasted, grinning at Chase. "I don't know what's going on with you, but I'm just glad that you're back to normal."

"Normal?" Phoenix asked. Chase kneed the back of his seat. "Ow!"

"I heard that."

"Come and give Momma some more sugar," Kaylee said, inviting Chase to her side of the car. "It might be more private over here."

"How wide do you think this car is?"

"Just focus on the road, mate," Chase spoke, "and leave us grown-ups to our discussion." Chase slid over to Kaylee's side of the car, and the two started to make out.

"You know that we're going to be there soon, right?" Phoenix asked with a heightened volume in his voice. When neither of the lovebirds answered, he sighed. "Try not to drool all over my seats..."

~*~

Riley appeared in the Town Square. "Time to have some fun," he said in a raspy tone. He transformed into the Red Ranger and started firing at anything he could find with his blaster.

~*~

-"ALERT! ALIEN ACTIVITY IN THE TOWN SQUARE!"-

The girls ran over to a view screen and saw the Red Ranger shooting at buildings. "Riley?"

"I don't think that's Riley," Kendrix spoke, entering the room. "You two need to keep him at bay until we can track down the real Riley."

"What about Phoenix and Chase?" Kaori asked.

"There's no time. Besides, Chase is likely still under the spell, and would be of little use to you on the field. I'll have Kai and my brother work on finding the real Riley. In the meantime, do what you need to to detain him, but don't destroy him. If you do, then that will destroy Riley, as well."

"Oh, no!" Gabriela gasped.

"We're on it." She turned toward her friend. "C'mon, Gabi! It looks like it's just us girls again."

"Whoo! Girl power!"

"Don't do that anymore."

"Sorry!" The two girls teleported to the battleground.

~*~

"Hold it right there!" Gabriela leapt through the air, striking the Red Ranger with her Lightning Hammer, causing him to spark. She landed, resting her hammer on her shoulder. "How's that for a shocking entrance, monster?"

"Monster? It's me, Riley!"

-"Earth Claw, Slash!"- Kaori landed an attack from behind as she arrived on scene. "We know it's not really you."

"Oh, so the pretty ladies are smart enough to see through my disguise," the Ranger spoke, "but are you smart enough to dodge... THIS?" He swung around, striking both girls with the Wind Saber, knocking them back. He stopped and looked at them. "Guess not!" He laughed maniacally. "I'm too smart for you!"

"If you were really smart, you'd tell us where the real Riley is," Gabriela taunted, "or are you too scared?"

"I don't have to tell you anything! Now, I want you to meet some friends of mine. SPECTRES!" He snapped his fingers, and several of the grunt fighters appeared nearby. "Attack the lady Rangers!" He commanded. The Spectres charged into battle.

Kaori stood up. "You ready, Gabi?"

"Bring it on!"

~*~

Up on the ship, Entoborg entered the Prison Chamber and saw Jester in the cage. "How did you get in there?"

"That Nashira betrayed me and threw me in here because..." He paused for a second. "...Because I didn't destroy the Rangers! She wouldn't even give me a second chance!"

"I knew there was something I didn't like about her," Entoborg commented. "I'll let you out so you can exact your revenge." He pressed a button on his wrist, and the door to the cell opened.

Jester walked out. "Cool trick!"

"Thank you! It's nice to be appreciated!"

"Believe me, you have NO idea how appreciative I am. Now, where's Nashira?"

"She should be with Xityrant on the Bridge."

"Thank you!" He ran toward the door, but stopped before leaving the room. He turned back toward Entoborg. "One question before I go: What's the best time to go to the dentist?"

"Best time to go to the dentist..." Entoborg mused over the riddle. "I don't know. When?"

"Tooth-hurty! Ha-HA!" He heard the comedy riff sound effect play. -"Nailed it!"- He thought.

"Tooth... hurty?" He scratched his head. "I don't get it..." By the time he turned back around, Jester was gone. "Oh, well."

~*~

Jester flew through the air and tackled the Red Ranger, knocking him down. The two rolled for a short distance, with Jester stopping and letting go, allowing the laws of motion to have their effect on the Ranger. Jester stood up. "Bet you didn't expect to see ME so soon, did you?"

The Red Ranger stood up and brushed himself off. "YOU. How did you escape?"

"Entoborg opened the door and let me out. Nice monster, but he's not the brightest bulb on the tree."

"Whatever," Red Ranger sneered, summoning the Wind Saber. "You can't possibly get close enough to capture me and get your body back."

"Maybe I like being in this body. It's kind of fun, and the shades of green remind me of my old Ranger color. Besides, I've got this awesome sword that's SO much cooler than my old one." Jester summoned his own sword. "Watch this. Waves of Laughter!" He quickly charged the sword and slashed through the air, sending a golden colored energy wave toward the Red Ranger, striking him as images of smiley faces were emitted from the contact point.

"Oh, yeah? Wind Saber power!" He slashed through the air, but nothing happened. He looked at the sword and shook it. "Why aren't you working now?"

"You've lost your touch, clown! Speaking of... Clown Attack!" Jester slashed through the air in a horizontal motion, sending dozens of small clowns flying through the air at the Red Ranger. The ones that struck him sparked on his suit, knocking him to the ground. Jester walked over and stuck the sword into the ground, right by the Ranger's neck. "You ready to give up?"

"How did you master my powers so quickly?"

"It doesn't take a genius to figure out comedy. You just need the right motivation," he replied.

"Well, I want my body back. I didn't know it could do what you did!"

"What if I don't want to give it back?"

"Please! I'll do anything!"

"Will you let us destroy you once you get it back?"

"I'll die a happy clown! Just give me my precious body back!"

"You got it. TRANSFERENCE!" With that, Jester and the Red Ranger were magically switched back into their original bodies. Riley quickly grabbed Jester's sword and, combined with his own, slashed upward through his body, sending him screaming and flying back, exploding into a fiery pile of ash. He stood up. "Thank goodness!"

Gabriela and Kaori ran over to him. "Riley? Is that you?"

He nodded. "It's me."

"Thank goodness! I guess that means the spell's broken on Chase," Gabriela mused.

"Good. No more corny jokes," Kaori added.

"Oh, my gosh! The dinner!" Riley looked at his watch. "If we teleport, we can just make it. Wanna come?"

"Didn't the farmer invite just you and Chase?" Kaori asked.

"I'm sure they wouldn't mind a couple extra guests. Being from country stock myself, I know that we always cooked for five times the number of people we were having over. Leftovers can last a surprisingly long time, you know."

"What do you say, Kaori? Are you up for some down-home country cooking?"

"It'd be a welcome change from always eating the synthetic food from HQ's computers. Why not?"

"Great! Let's go!"

~*~

"So, your brilliant plan failed," Xityrant sneered. "What's next?"

"Oh, you'll see," Nashira spoke."

Polaris walked in, holding a carafe. "Coffee?"

Nashira laughed evilly.

Xityrant looked at her, confused. "Am I missing something?"
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